Feb. 22, 2009

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -With the number of chances Syracuse had in the final seconds, Villanova coach Jay Wright figured one of the shots was bound to go in.

Surprise, surprise.

To Wright's relief, Syracuse's Eric Devendorf, followed by Paul Harris and finally Jonny Flynn all missed 3-point attempts in a furious final 10 seconds, allowing the 12th-ranked Wildcats to hang on for an 89-86 victory over the 24th-ranked Orange on Sunday.

"We had no control. I was just watching and praying," Wright said. "After the first shot, I thought we were OK. The next two, we were just scrambling."

The Wildcats didn't begin celebrating until shortly after the buzzer sounded and Flynn's shot from the left corner bounced harmlessly off the rim.

"They got some good looks. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not," Wright said.

Dwayne Anderson scored a career-high 22 points - including two key baskets during what proved to be a decisive 11-0 run midway through the second half for Villanova.

Corey Fisher added 16 points and was one of six players to score in double digits for the Wildcats (22-5, 10-4), who won for the eighth time in nine games and took another step in securing their spot among the top five in the heavily contested Big East Conference standings.

"Relief?" Anderson said, repeating the question. "A Big East road win, so yes,"

Devendorf scored 22 points and Harris added 21 for Syracuse (19-8, 7-7), which dropped to 2-6 in its last eight.

"We battled about as well as we can battle at the end," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "I liked our chances with the shots we got. We got good looks, the whole game."

Trouble was, the Orange couldn't connect.